Last month, the Trump Administration announced partnerships with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide. 

What you need to know:

  • Free of charge 
  • Includes needles, syringes, and other necessary equipment 
  • Available to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), assisted-living facilities, and residential group homes. 
  • Available to LTCF staff
  • Expected to take three total visits over approximately two months
  • Two doses are administered 28 days apart

What pharmacies will do:

  • Receive and manage vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, and personal protective equipment).
  • Ensure cold chain management for vaccine.
  • Provide on-site administration of vaccine.
  • Report required vaccination data (who/what/where) to state, local, territorial, and federal public health authorities within 72 hours.

When to expect it:

  • As soon as late November or early December
  • Vaccines likely to roll out in phases, with nursing homes being second only to first responders and high-risk health care workers

What you can do to prepare:

  1. Enroll your facility via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and complete the LTCF COVID-19 Module
  2. Prepare to educate about vaccination risks and benefits
  3. Prioritize who should get vaccines if supply is limited
  4. Discuss mandatory vaccinations for all employees
  5. Build a review committee for those who want to opt-out
  6. Develop alternative policies (e.g., mandatory PPE) and enforcement plans for opt-outs
  7. Incorporate vaccinations into new hire onboarding process

As details become known, your prep list may grow. But, at least you can check a few things off while we all anxiously await the official debut of the COVID-19 vaccine.